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Monday, June 27, 2016

Angels pitchers Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney hoping stem-cell treatment helps them avoid Tommy John surgery

When Garrett Richards left his last outing at Texas on May 1, he felt arm fatigue. The club said he was dehydrated and cramping. A subsequent MRI revealed rather he had torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, a setback that requires Tommy John ligament replacement surgery for most pitchers.

The standard recovery takes up to 18 months.

Richards, instead, hopes to avoid the daunting post-surgery timetable and pitch again in a potential wild-card race thanks to a stem-cell shot he received last month from Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

“It’s an option, and I decided to take it,” Richards said. “Why not?”

So, on May 16, Yoon extracted bone marrow from Richards, concentrated it and injected the mixture back into the UCL in his elbow, aiming to repair the injured ligament.


 

 

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